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Really Top Guys Leaving

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

Really Top Guys Leaving

Old 19th Feb 2018, 18:21
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: All Over
Posts: 471

Somewhere they'll hopefully be happy.

The place is not what it once was. I guess it COULD be but that would require a major philosophy shift that's IMHO very unlikely to happen.

The present strategy IMHO is to look for indigenous home grown apprentice and other nation 'refugee' pilots who are willing to work cheap and without sustainable housing/pay and who don't have options elsewhere. Stringing them along at the 'just below quitting' level and/or with promises that will never happen. Not unlike some types of regionals; although regionals are having issues with manning in many parts of the world. The unique thing about HKG is its very high cost of living and I believe the company is trying to base there (where they can wield an 'impose at will' type of contract without recourse or negotiation that's required in other parts of the world) without paying what would result in a decent standard of living. Rather than explore win-wins of basing in cheaper locations (but which have the added baggage of real laws and required negotiations).

IF one is looking at many years ahead of them in the airline biz, IMHO there are much better opportunities elsewhere due chiseling conditions, division, and a generally confrontational style of management with no indication of abating (and NO want to embrace teamwork and win-win solutions). If one is looking to make things OK for a few years and ride things out before retiring or going to a 'fun' job that's more of a hobby in retirement (or use it as a training ground for other opportunities) this place is probably OK.

The major issue is everything in the airline industry is seniority based and you 'lose' time if you stay somewhere that isn't panning out--for whatever reason.

Best of luck to 'ya and do speak personally with some folks in the rank and file who work here to get their take.
Shep69 is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2018, 19:04
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Belgium
Posts: 38
Thanks guys for your inputs.
I do understand what you mean, not at your level, but I see.
Although, I think it is like this in many airlines, or let's say, more and more in this society.
But true, now, I balance pros and cons carefully, and I am not ready to go so far and being really disappointed. (yeah I do have a young family with me). Sure it's not what I pictured, from the outside, CX seems the best for a wannabe. But actually after talking to others wannabes, we are more and more to read carefully about T's /Cs.
How would you decribe the management : authoritative ? In europe I know some management in Low cost act this way : fear culture. Just, I could not imagine that it would reach Majors now.
stoneangel is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2018, 20:38
  #63 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: hong kong
Posts: 193
Put it this way, they have a sickness monitoring programme that flags you if you trigger certain levels of sickness. It is basically intimidation, if you let it be so. It claims it is interested in your health but it just ends up making some pilots fly when they shouldn’t be for fear of entering the dreaded stages of the programme.

A good majority don’t give a toss but some fear it. Some clerk decides what is happening to you regarding internal disciplinary actions even though you may well have medical certificates stating you are unfit to fly and it could possibly be illegal to excercise the privileges of your license. You could be summarily dismissed if you have simply taken an over the counter medicine to relieve a simple head cold and some traces of certain medications are found in your system.

The rostering system is simply draconian. Some attempt to implement a system from Jeppesen is being made, however clearly internal sabotage from the incumbent rostering department is occurring. The rosters are not workable or sustainable. Management would rather keep tight control rather than give pilots choice and roster stability. The company cancelled rostering practices and introduced their own system which is all at the company behest with virtually no seniority bidding.

Certain types of aircraft have appalling rosters and you have no say if you want to change aircraft types.

Let alone the cost of living and constant attacks on your conditions to line the pockets of managers whom know nothing about aviation.
CYRILJGROOVE is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2018, 21:06
  #64 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: London
Posts: 1,544
The only real sickness is evident in our management ranks. Mental and moral.
Trafalgar is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2018, 21:38
  #65 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Matz North
Posts: 73
Never a truer word Cyril.
ANTIPHOLUS is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 00:11
  #66 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: with the other ex-CX pond scum (a zoologist was once head of Flight Ops)
Posts: 0
Also, as I have written many times, Hong Kong's airspace is crimped by the mainland Chinese. Nothing has changed in the near 20 years since the new airport has been open. It doesn't matter how many runways they build at HKIA; one CB miles away shuts the joint down for hours. Each summer gets crazier and crazier. Even in good weather, delays are rife. Intelligent travellers are avoiding using HKG as a hub for connections.

Because of this and other factors, expansion will eventually stop, and CX and your career will be going nowhere.
Captain Dart is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 02:39
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: B050 No SAR No Details
Posts: 35
F/Os turning down Command training in preference for becoming S/Os with QF pretty much sums it up.

Once you have pushed people to the point of looking around at what else is available, then you are dealing with someone who has made up their mind to leave. Even if management offer to back off and leave the status quo as it stands, most of the affected will still leave and a large improvement to current Ts & Cs will be needed to reverse the trajectory that has been gathering impetus.
mothy1583 is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 02:45
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Posts: 833
....and that won't happen, as this management has decided to let the place burn. Only those that leave will attain a satisfied career. Those that stay will bitterly regret it. Our management is broken, without purpose and wallowing in incompetence.
mngmt mole is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 06:23
  #69 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Brexitland
Posts: 1,126
If you join now:-
You can never buy a house
You can never afford to rent a decent family home
You can never afford a decent School for your kids
You can never afford kids
You can never afford a car

Cathay is not a "Legacy Carrier" - it's like Easyjet but everyone's living in Central London or Tokyo.

Don't join Cathay - you'll regret it.

(Never thought I'd say that - well done Swires!)
Arfur Dent is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 06:43
  #70 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: with the other ex-CX pond scum (a zoologist was once head of Flight Ops)
Posts: 0
But...but...you get to fly a Big Shiny Jet!
Captain Dart is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 07:03
  #71 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Hong kong
Posts: 100
The other thing that everyone else seems to have forgotten is the shocking levels of air pollution which is not good for your health
I thought that it may improve but I haven’t seen an signs of that happening
Tea time is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 11:49
  #72 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1,025
As an ex Hong Kong resident I read this forum with great interest .

Isn’t it the case that anyone who joined CX or remained there after the 49 ers debacle knows exactly the deal and the level of treatment they can/could expect from CX management .

Seems to me they made it pretty clear to you all what the deal is ? No ?
Nil further is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 12:03
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 324
So true, they made it very clear we are all on a 3 months contract!
Dragon69 is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 12:32
  #74 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 505

You’re right. As one of those who has been here since the 49er disgrace, the writing on the wall should have been clear. The mistake we made was assuming that the last attack on the pilots, in this case the 49ers, was the last attack. We were naive to make that assumption. Since the early 1990’s the company has viewed the pilots’ pay and conditions as a gift that keeps on giving. Every bit of negative economic news would be used by management to justify a fresh wave of reductions to pay, benefits, and working conditions. This happened time and time again.

So you’re right, we should have seen this coming...we were stupid to assume they would suddenly stop or change their behavior without a push back.

That said, a tipping point has been reached. The effect of the training ban, and extreme resignation rate among pilots, has reached critical mass. This turn of events must be a bitter pill for management to swallow. Imagine that....to finally understand that you cannot run an airline without pilots....
raven11 is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 12:50
  #75 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: hONG kONG
Posts: 113
It takes a maximum of 3 months for a pilot to leave.

It can take 6-9months to recruit and train the replacement assuming no hiccups.
With a normal attrition rate(retirements/licence loss/moving on to pastures new etc) I am sure a cost is allowed for there.

Given that the attrition rate/replacement training requirements are now significantly higher I wonder what the true retraining costs are?

Numero Crunchero care to comment?

There is a message there somewhere
Nullaman is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 13:56
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: hk
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by Krone View Post
Yes I did. But you are missing the point . The recurrent is not a promotion for me.
A pilot moving "up" from A330 to A350 is . I'm not one of the many lambasting those who want to go to training, but then taking advantage of those who are going to train me onto the A350. And readily accepting it, with open arms.
Did I do an 'upgrade' when the A330 was added to my initial A340 rating? Or maybe it was an upgrade when I did the A340-600 differences course?
When I lost the A340 on my licence due lack of recency, was that a downgrade? Now that I have A330/A350 on my licence is that an upgrade again?
For licensing purposes, they're the same types.....you goose, and as somebody previously pointed out, the course(s) is(were) rostered without requesting it......unlike a training position.
bored is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 17:29
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 505

Was I stupid to hope that things would get better? Yes ...I said that in my post. Does reminding me of my stupidly elevate the debate? Unless I miss my guess you’ve been here a long while too. How then are you absolved from NilFurther’s implication?

NilFurter was suggesting that based on the Company’s past behavior it should have been clear to all of us what “deal” was. His implication being that we should have either done something a long time ago, seeked employment elsewhere, or acquiess.

I thought that perhaps there was another option: To engage and hope that good sense would prevail. Silly me.

Last edited by raven11; 20th Feb 2018 at 18:12.
raven11 is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2018, 19:51
  #78 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Brexitland
Posts: 1,126
You're not stupid, Raven. In the mid 80's and early 90's pilots were regarded as very much part of the Management Class. Able and willing to save fuel, fly to the best of our ability and make Company minded suggestions to improve the Operation on an almost daily basis.
We were included and consulted because we were the sharp end of the Airline and 'they' were the back room business experts who sorted all the finance, politics, route structure etc etc. Bloody good team game and we were all paid pretty well for upping sticks and moving to a very culturally different part of the world. It was exciting and we felt welcomed into a very elite Club.
Somebody decided to change all that and we have arrived at the current shambles. What a powerful will the person responsible for all of this must have. It must be the Swire Family because otherwise they would have stopped it.
Their train set I guess but it's just about to derail and Merlin may just be the driver at the time. How appropriate.
Arfur Dent is offline  
Old 21st Feb 2018, 01:39
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 505

A well written post...except the blissfully ignorant part.

Our collective endurance has finally reached its limit. The HPE report on the AOA website is an interesting read that speaks to the depth of frustration and mistrust. It would seem that the future can only proceed in one of two directions.
raven11 is offline  
Old 21st Feb 2018, 04:11
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South of 60
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by enoughisenough_ View Post

The 1500hr rule is an arbitary number which was made up with no proof that it improves flight safety. In the Colgan Air accident which led to the implementation of the rule, the F/O had over 2,200 hours on the Dash already. And report states it was the captains failure to recover from the stall correctly. Neither were low hour cadet pilots and flight hours was not cited in the report as a contributing factor.

So no it is not substantive enough for me.

The most important aspect in flight safety is training. EASA realise this.
You do realize that she retracted the flaps during the stall, right?
mccauleyprop is offline  

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